Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

McAllister, Carolyn


The current research indicates that former foster youth entering post-secondary education do not have the same outcomes as the general population when it comes to the completion of educational goals (AA degree, Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree). This research study used an exploratory design which focused on finding the role that utilization of mental health services and treatments play on academic outcomes for this population. Through qualitative interviews, respondents served as experts in this area and they provided their unique experience regarding this topic. The goal of this study was to reduce uncertainty in the literature, identify past barriers, limitations, define past outcomes, quality of services, and determine appropriateness of mental health services. The findings of this study reflected themes relevant to this population, in regard to mental health utilization. There were similarities with current research, but also new areas that have not been explored in current literature. This research identified changes that must be implemented to influence change in social work practices and improve the overall educational outcomes for former foster youth. Recommendations are to use these findings to implement programs that establish healthy relationship building, mentorship, and mental health.

Included in

Social Work Commons